Saturday, March 26, 2016

Why Some People Find It Hard To Tell What's Real

Good Day World!

I can't blame some people for being confused about what's real, and what's not these days.

For example, take so-called Reality Shows:

5 Fake Reality Shows Exposed

Reality TV's Worst Hoaxes and Lies

As Robert Ripley once said, "Believe it or Not." Some people actually believe that reality shows are... real. They're very dissapointed when they find out that their show is scripted. 

Then we have ex-reality star Donald Trump running for the president of the United States. Almost Twilight Zone stuff. It's too much to process for many Americans.

One day they're watching The Donald on The Apprentice, eagerly firing people looking for jobs, and the next they see him claiming to Make America Great Again (if you elect him president) by creating more jobs.

I sure don't mean to be rude - a Trump staple - but when people blindly follow him (ignoring scary facts) you can see why he says he loves un-educated voters.

Then there's belief vs reality.

It's important to remember that beliefs are not based upon reality, so they can be different, and this can be, and is, used to cause conflict.

Beliefs prevent people from seeing the truth.They look for an enemy to blame all their unhappiness on when things aren't going their way.

The sad truth is reality is not always that apparent to many people. For whatever reasons. Mental health leading the way of course, but the other factors I mentioned also play into denying reality.

Time for me to walk on down the road...

Friday, March 25, 2016

Future Shock: The Day Dictator Trump Turns On The World

Good Day World!

In a dystopian future we see what happens after Trump is elected president:

It started out quickly.

The first week:
Trump gives Congress several ultimatums after forming a special bodyguard unit (The Trumpateers who have pledged to be loyal to him, not America). He disolves the Secret Service. 

The first 100 days:
After bullying Congress into submission through various dark ways, the new laws came fast and hard. Trump manages to strip Americans of most of their constitutional rights before they even knew what was happening. 

Trump becomes a dictator after eliminating all resistence. 

Torture, during all interrogations becomes so commonplace it's instituted into law enforcement agencies across the land. Debtor's prisons spring up like deadly mushrooms.

The first year:
All Muslims are banned from entering the country under any circumstances. 
The same goes for Hindu's, Sikhs, Buddists, Mexicans, anyone from Central America, anyone from a country that doesn't recognize Trump's dictatorship, and anyone who even looks suspicious from any country.

The Second Year:

NATO declares the United States a "rogue state" after Trump violates every international law possible. Trump doubles the size of the US military goes after countries that have sanctioned him.

When Russia's Vladimir Putin says that Trump's SMALL HANDS are an extension of his small penis Trump comes unglued.

World War III.

It all starts here: 
Trump urges waterboarding and more after Brussels attacks

GOP Foreign Policy Experts Warn A Trump Presidency Would Endanger America

Time for me to walk on down the road...

Thursday, March 24, 2016

He Personified the 'Beat Generation': Happy 97th Birthday, Lawerence Ferlinghetti!

                                    Good Day World!

Join me, if you will, in celebrating American poet, painter, and Liberal activist, Lawernce Ferlinghetti's birthday (March 24, 1919) today. He's 97-years young.

Sixty-one years ago, Ferlinghetti was the principal publisher of an iconoclastic band of writers and poets known as the Beat Generation.

Today, he's still co-owner of City Lights, one of the most celebrated independent book stores in America. 

Next to Edgar Allan Poe, he is my favorite all-time poet. I still remember reading Christ Climbed Down with a sense of awe. His style is stunning and profane. I was hooked from then on.

Ferlinghetti was a featured presenter at the Gathering of the Tribes "Human Be-In" which drew tens of thousands of people and launched San Francisco's "Summer of Love."

Happy Birthday, Lawerence!

Time for me to walk on down the road...

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Strange News and Trending Views Via a Junkyard Dog

Good Day World!

Like a dog, I like to dig. 

I even refer to myself as a junkyard dog looking for news and controversial views in the world's wastelands.

These are strange days my friend. None of us knows when they will end.

Judge Judy, and Judge Joe Brown, will have to share the judicial TV limelight with Sarah Palin if the pilot she's starring in gets picked up.

Imagine Palin as a judge. That's pretty strange having a political extremist star as a dispenser of justice. (Editor's note: A Political extremist refers to a person or group that holds a set of beliefs that diverge from society's norm to a great degree.)

I knew it! Check this out:

Mystical Experiences Open a 'Door of Perception' in the Brain

Now 3 views for your consideration:

American's View of the GOP

The Pew Research Center published a survey last November that showed less than 32% of Americans had a good opinion of the Republican Party.

American's Views on Immigrants

According to a Pew Research Center report, when it comes to how Americans view the impact on U.S. society and life, there's a big partisan gap - a gap once again reflected in the nation's politics, particularly in the Republican presidential campaign.

American's Views on Gun Control

Last December Gallup conducted a poll and reported that 26% of registered voters said they would only vote for a candidate who shared their views on gun control. The percentage was considerablly higher than when Gallup polled the subject in 1999, and 2000. 

Time for me to walk on down the road...

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Clearing Up The Difference Between 'Love Fests' And Trump Rallies

Good Day World!

Republican presidential frontrunner, Donald Trump, recently told the press that there was no violence during his rallies.

(Photo-Trump version of a Love Fest - via Google Commons)

 He even doubled down on that stupid statement and called his rallies Love Fests!

The facts show a different reality for the ex-reality star. His version of a Love Fest;

Violence erupts at Donald Trump rally in Tuscon

Black Protestor Sucker Punched in Latest Violent incident at Trump event.

From White Power to Nazu Salutes: How Toxic Can Trump Rallies get? 

The Psychology Behind The Violence At Trump Rallies

Here's the difference between what you see above and real Love Fests:

One Love Festival 2016

Must Love Festivals

The Love Parade


That should clear up the difference between real Love Fests and Trump's rallies. 

Time for me to walk on down the road...

Monday, March 21, 2016

Do You Believe In Magic?

Good Day World!

Since prehistoric times men/women have believed in magic.

People still believe in it in the 21st century. People like Texas Congressman, Pete Sessions.
He doesn't believe in the science of Global Warming, but show him a good magic trick and he gets downright bubbly!

I'll bet you didn't know that the Society of American Magicians has been pushing Congress to recognize magic since the 1960's.

The society has found their boy in Sessions. He introduced a House resolution last week that would officially recognize magic as a "rare and valuable art form and national treasure."

No. Really. He's tried to pull this rabbit out of the hat in the past with no luck. 

Here's the resolution he introduced;
"Whereas magic is an art form with the unique power and potential to impact the lives of all people; Whereas magic enables people to experience the impossible; Whereas magic is used to inspire and bring wonder and happiness to others; Whereas magic has had a significant impact on other art forms."

Rebuilding America's crumbling infrastructure, for example, would be more along the lines of what we should expect from Congress.

Of all the thing Congress needs to be doing, celebrating magic doesn't strike me as a top priority. 

That is, unless some kind of magic can make both parties compromise and actually pass bipartisan bills. In that case sign me up as a believer!

Do you believe in magic? 

Time for me to walk on down the road...

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Overheard: Two Englishman Talk About Trump and American Politics

Good Day World!

Two middle aged Englishmen having a spot of tea were recently overheard talking about American politics: 

“I say Thomas, did you watch the tellie this morning?”

“Aye. Good theatre Edward. It was more entertaining than the last Royal Wedding was, I‘d say.”

 “Indeed. That rich real estate chap, Donald Trump, is fragmenting the Republican Party!”

“Simply smashing! Those Americans are getting crazier every day. Trump’s rallies have been turning into riots and anti-Trump protesters are getting beat up.”

“Someone should make the chap show a bit of civility eh what?”

“Did you know that Mr. Trump had his own reality show on the tellie Edward?”

“Perfect platform for a political office in America I‘d say.”

“I’m not sure the Republican Party can survive such a scandalous nominee.” 

“He could always start his own political party. The chap is filthy rich.”

“Quite so. He could call it the “Pompous and Wealthy Party,” or the PAW Party!”

“Vote for Trump, leader of the PAW Party which digs up dirt about minorities!”

“Oh good one! You almost made me spill my tea!” 

“It’s times like this Thomas, when I’m glad to be an Englishman.”

“Don’t get too puffed up now mate, you know what they say about mad dogs and crazy Englishmen.”

“Well, a new thought is in order then. How about bat shit crazy extreme Americans are in love with Mr. Trump?”

“Jolly well said! I’m really looking forward to the presidential debates in November. They’re sure to be more entertaining than a play on Shaftesbury Avenue, or the Haymarket.”

“What’s your favorite part of the process?”

“That’s easy enough. The mud slinging. This election is shaping up to be a classic for spreading lies like seeds in manure and hoping votes will grow from them. I‘m also following the racial angle, as Mr. Trump has supporters like the KKK actively campaigning for him.”

“Did you notice, American Civil War buff that you are, that most of the states that Mr. Trump has been winning in the primaries are southern?

“I did, and I’m not surprised. I have a cousin who lives in Alabama and he says there’s a Neo-Confederacy Movement there and it’s no secret.” 

“Nasty stuff that. It still divides those stupid Americans. When are they going to quit fighting that bloody war?”

“No telling who will be the Republican nominee if they have a contested convention."

“I’m going to go out on a limb and say it’ll be Mr. Trump.”  

“Another cup of tea?”

“Why thank you!”

Stay tuned for a future column when Thomas and Edward discuss American cuisine from the Gulf coast six years after the BP oil spill in 2011. Cheerio! 

Time for me to walk on down the road...

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Wineries don’t advertise the ‘fine’ line between regular and vegetarian wine

Good Day World!

There appears to be a conspiracy of silence on the part of winemakers when it comes the subject of vegetarian wine.

 That’s right. Did you know there was such a thing as vegetarian or vegan wine?

I’ve visited wineries throughout California and never heard of vegetarian or vegan wine until very recently. While on a visit to relatives in Southern California, my sister told me and my wife that she had discovered them.

My sister has been a vegetarian most of her life and the idea that animal parts are used in the wine-making process literally sickened her. She had been drinking wine for about ten years, blissfully unaware of this fact.

Before I explain how animal parts are involved in the wine-making process I would like to pose this question to all the wineries in California; "Why don’t you warn people that animal parts are used (if applicable) in the production of your wine on your labels, or in the literature you pass out?"

Fact. The FDA does not mandate that wineries (or breweries - yes they can be vegetarian too) provide information about animal parts used in the making of their products. It’s little known unless you’re the winemaker or an expert in viticulture.

There’s a natural settling and clarification process that occurs when wine is aged. It’s an inefficient and inconsistent way to prepare wine for the public however, according to Foodista, a vegetarian blog that pairs vegetarian wines with meals.

Most people don’t want to drink cloudy wine or wine with particles floating in it. The answer is to "clean up" the wine after fermentation, either before, during, or after aging.
This process is called "fining.

It’s a method of clarifying or chemically stabilizing the wine. The fining agents, filters, and additives are the "devil in the details" for vegetarians and vegans.

You may be surprised to hear that animal blood could be in your wine. How? The charcoal used to remove impurities and odors from wine is frequently made from animal bones. 

Refined sugar, sometimes added to wine to enhance sweetness, is also filtered with charcoal.

Here’s a list of agents from that could be used during the fining process:
Egg whites, milk, blood, gelatin, carbon, fish paste, casein (the principal protein constituent of milk and cheese) and isinglass (an extract of sturgeon bladders).

Don’t despair however, as there are alternatives. There’s a heat stabilization process using bentonite (a clay of hydrated magnesium silicates) that clears and purifies wine. 

Another method involves using Irish Moss. Some wineries don’t even bother with the fining process and sell their vino, particles included.

Winemakers use various filtering methods to remove undesirable elements. There’s depth or sheet filtration, surface or membrane filtration, and sterile filtration, in addition to those listed above.

There are numerous blogs about vegetarian and vegan wine. If you’re a vegan, you’ll want to check out "Barnivore," a site run by two vegans. They let consumers know which wines are strictly vegan. 

I’ve already mentioned two vegetarian sites, and there are others online. If you walk into a winery, try to find a sign stating vegetarian wine is available.

Out of 21 wineries in the Temecula area in Southern California, only one sells all organic vegetarian wine. That’s Bella Vista Winery, where I went with my sister. Even there, they don’t make a big deal about being vegetarian-friendly. The servers seemed proud of the fact, but it wasn’t prominently displayed in the wine tasting area.

Maybe I shouldn’t say the fact that most wineries don’t talk about being vegetarian or vegan is a conspiracy. Perhaps the subject simply doesn’t come up very often.

I called wineries in Napa, Sonoma, and Mendocino counties, and not one person who answered the phone knew if they served vegetarian wine. They all had to consult with winemakers to give me an answer.

Like I said, maybe that’s just a coincidence. Maybe wineries don’t care if the word does get out that vegetarian or vegan wine exists. I’m no expert and probably have no business bringing this whole subject up. 

But were you aware of it?

Time for me to walk on down the road...
Editor's Note: I wrote this column six years ago, and it's still relevant.

Friday, March 18, 2016

The Definition of Humor Has Changed During My Lifetime

Good Day World!

That's me in the photo, looking ridiculous.

I've always been a clown at heart and love good jokes and comedians.

But I've watched, with growing alarm, as humor has been hammered into a hole by politically correct groups in this country during the last four decades.


Growing up in the 1950s, I watched some of the greatest comedic acts of all time; Laura and Hardy, Abbott and Costello, and Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis.

Comedians like W.C. Fields and Rodney Dangerfield, left me weak with laughter countless times. Both men would probably be booed off the stage if they did their act today.

That's sad.

Speaking of sad, it's been painful watching Bill Cosby's illicit past catch up to him. I have to admit, I loved his early records. Wonderfullness and Why Is Their Air? are comedy classics.

When I look at what passes for humor in today's comedy acts, I can't help feeling disappointed. They're usually foul-mouthed. Fuck this, and fuck that. 

If you haven't been to a stand-up performance by a comedian lately, you should check it out.

It's okay to be crude and lude, but within the puzzling limits set by the faceless PC police.

The good news - and there is always a brighter side to things - all those comedians of yesterday that I love, are still available today through videos.

Time for me to walk on down the road...

Thursday, March 17, 2016

The Chaos Candidate: Report Predicts a Global Economic Downturn If Trump Is Elected

Good Day World!

When was the last time the British research organization, The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) said a candidate for the U.S. presidency could have a dangerous global impact on the world economy?


But this year the group released a global risk assessment, ranking the election of Donald Trump a 12 on a scale of one to 25 — the same number it assigned to the possibility that jihadi terrorism would destabilize the global economy.

"His militaristic tendencies towards the Middle East (and ban on all Muslim travel to the U.S.) would be a potent recruitment tool for jihadi groups, increasing their threat both within the region and beyond," the EIU said.

The report notes that Trump would not beat Hillary Clinton if he does become the Republican nominee.

I'm not sure how they came up with that conclusion. Trump's chances of being elected are being downplayed by a lot of political pundits, but deep down I think their all really afraid he will get elected.

Trump has unleashed a whirlwind and no one knows where it'll take this country. 

I feel like we're watching a train wreck slowly unfold, and are helpless to do anything about it. 

Time for me to walk on down the road... 

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Guess Who? She's The Queen of Right-Wing Provocateurs & a Big Trump Supporter (Clue: Not Sarah Palin either)

Good Day World!

Meet the meanest, most racist, right-wing provocateur, propaganist in America today.

* She's famous for being the most vicious of all the haters prowling the internet and mainstream media for over 17-years.

* She once said: 

“We need to execute people like John Walker Lindh in order to physically intimidate liberals, by making them realize that they can be killed, too. Otherwise, they will turn out to be outright traitors.”

* She loves Donald Trump and wants to see him become the next president. She recently got on Twitter and encouraged more violence in Trump rallies:

"I would like to see a little more violence from the innocent Trump supporters set upon by violent leftist hoodlums."

* She was once riding high as the scourge of all liberals and was featured on Fox News for 17-years before they got sick of her and canned her.

If you haven't guessed who it is by now, then I'll tell you:

Ann Coulter - Still the Queen of Mean and as loose with facts as ever, she manages to spread lies and hate on the web and wherever else she's given the opportunity.

Ann Coulter has fallen from grace - and the reason why is terrifying

Time for me to walk on down the road...

Are You Extremely Proud to be an American? Then You're in the Minority

Just 36% of Americans   recently told Gallup pollsters they were extremely proud to be an American.  That's the lowest percentage   sinc...